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jerryking : kodak   7

How to keep creative geniuses in check and in profit
March 10, 2019 | Financial Times | by Andrew Hill.

The story of how Eastman Kodak invented a digital camera in 1975 but failed to develop it is one of the most notorious misses in the annals of innovation. (It’s more complicated than that, but never mind.)

Polaroid, the instant-photo pioneer, took a slower path to the technology: its first digital camera appeared only in 1996. It filed for bankruptcy in 2001, 11 years before Kodak.
Polaroid’s founding genius, Edwin Land, could, though, have been first to the digital party. In 1971, as part of a secret panel advising the US president, he advocated digital photography, which the US eventually adopted for its spy satellites.
But Land was blind to the promise of digital cameras for the consumer.

This tale of failures of leadership, innovation and organisation is well told by Safi Bahcall, a physicist, former consultant and biotech entrepreneur, in Loonshots. There are four types of failure:
(1) Leadership failure. Edwin Land was guilty of leading his company into a common trap: only ideas approved by an all-powerful leader advance until at last a costly mis-step trips up the whole company.
(2) Innovation failure. Bahcall distinguishes between product-type and strategy-type innovation. Classic P-type innovators are the folks at innovation conferences conversing about new gadgets with less attention being paid to the analysis of innovative business models. Indeed, at some forums, P-type innovations also crowd the lobby. Delegates line up to try the latest shiny robot, electric car, or 3D printer.

(3) Organizational failure. Loonshots is based, refreshingly, on the idea culture does not necessarily eat strategy for breakfast. In fact, bad structure eats culture. Bahcall gives this a scientific foundation, explaining that successful teams and companies stagnate in the same way water turns to ice. A perfectly balanced innovative company must try to keep the temperature at the point where free-flowing bright ideas are not suddenly frozen by bureaucracy. How? Since the success of Bell Labs, companies have been told they should set up “a department of loonshots run by loons, free to explore the bizarre” separately from the parent. The key, though, is to ensure chief executives and their managers encourage the transfer of ideas between the mad creatives in the lab and the people in the field, and (the culture part) ensure both groups feel equally loved.

As for the assumption companies always ossify as they get larger, that risk can be mitigated by adjusting incentives, curbing office politics, and matching skills to projects, for which Loonshots offers a detailed formula.

Success also requires a special type of leader — not a visionary innovator but a “careful gardener”, who nurtures the existing franchise and the new projects. Though not himself an inventor, Steve Jobs, in his second phase at Apple, arguably achieved the right balance. He also spotted the S-type potential of iTunes. Even if Tesla’s Elon Musk is not losing that balance, in his headlong, top-down pursuit of loonshot after loonshot, he does not strike me as a born gardener.

Persuading charismatic geniuses to give up their role as leaders of organisations built on their inventions is hard. Typically, such people figure out themselves how to garden, as Jobs did; or they are coached by the board, which may install veteran executives to help; or they may be handed the title of “chief innovator” or “chief scientist” and nudged aside for a new CEO.

(4) They may find themselves peddling a fatally flawed product.
Bell_Labs  books  breakthroughs  business_models  creativity  digital_cameras  Edwin_Land  Elobooks  Elon_Musk  failure  genius  howto  incentives  innovation  inventors  Kodak  leaders  moonshots  office_politics  organizational_failure  organizational_innovation  Polaroid  product-orientated  Steve_Jobs 
march 2019 by jerryking
Apple-Google Team Up for $500 Million-Plus Kodak Patents Bid - Bloomberg
By Serena Saitto, Beth Jinks & Brian Womack - Dec 8, 2012

Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc. have joined forces to offer more than $500 million to buy Eastman Kodak Co. (EKDKQ)’s patents out of bankruptcy.

The two companies, competing for dominance of the smartphone market, have partnered after leading two separate groups this summer to buy some of Kodak’s 1,100 imaging patents.
Unlikely partnerships are typical in patent sales because they allow competitors to neutralize potential infringement litigation. A group including Apple, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Research in Motion Ltd. bought Nortel Networks Corp.’s more than 6,000 patents for $4.5 billion out of bankruptcy last year. Google lost the auction for those patents after making an initial offer of $900 million.
Apple  auctions  bankruptcies  coalitions  collaboration  Google  Kodak  Nortel  patents  patent_infringement  partnerships  smartphones 
december 2012 by jerryking
Shuttered: Digital cameras killed Kodak, but smartphones will kill digital cameras | Features | FP Tech Desk | Financial Post
Jan 19, 2012 – Jan 20, 2012 2:25 PM ET

Eastman Kodak, which invented the hand-held camera and helped bring the world the first pictures from the moon, has filed for bankruptcy protection, capping a prolonged plunge for one of the United States' best-known companies.


By Matt Hartley and Jameson Berkow
creative_destruction  Apple  iPhone  Blockbuster  cameras  Canon  Kodak  HTC  Netflix  Nikon  Nokia  photography  smartphones  digital_cameras 
january 2012 by jerryking
Kodak Plunges After Company Taps Credit Line -
SEPTEMBER 27, 2011 | WSJ | By DANA MATTIOLI And MATT JARZEMSKY. Clock Ticks as Kodak Burns Cash
Shares Plunge 27% as Investors Worry Ailing Company Can't Pull Off Turnaround Plan
Kodak  Dana_Mattioli  turnarounds 
september 2011 by jerryking
Remember Microsoft? -
June 10, 2011Technology upends companies in different
ways. It allows new firms to deliver better products and services in a
more efficient way; it also creates new goods and services for consumers
to want. Eastman Kodak, the fifth-biggest company in the S.& P. 500
in 1975, was almost destroyed by digital cameras and is no longer in
the index. General Motors, fifth biggest in 1985, was hobbled by rivals
that could make more fuel efficient cars. Microsoft still rules the PC
desktop. But that will matter less and less as users migrate to tablets
and more computing takes place in “the cloud.”
There is another lesson in Microsoft’s long slide. It is about how far
corporate behemoths will go to stop technology that threatens their
Microsoft  David_Einhorn  capitalism  creative_destruction  technology  Kodak  cloud_computing  GM  digital_cameras 
june 2011 by jerryking
Everybody’s Business - Netflix Stays One Step Ahead of Creative Destruction -
August 7, 2010 | NYT | By DAMON DARLIN. "Established
companies’ historical inability to change is what makes Netflix’s
maneuvers so fascinating. It foresaw its possible demise at the moment
of its own creation. The company was formed in 1997 with the idea of
sending movie DVDs, then a new technology, through the mail. But Reed
Hastings, the founder and chief executive, and early employees,
recognized that delivery of movies over the Internet would replace the
mail carrier soon. They named the company Netflix, not Mailflix or DVDs
by Mail....Netflix says the mail train is likely to keep chugging for an
additional 20 years. But it has managed to do what few companies have
done by leaping to faster transportation. Harrowing, yes. But consumers
should enjoy the ride."
beforemath  creative_destruction  Netflix  Kodak  Clayton_Christensen  Reed_Hastings  dvds  movies  streaming  Amazon  Wal-Mart 
august 2010 by jerryking

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